Well, folks, after a quick holiday break, it’s officially January in Ohio! The weather is cold, the snow is coming, and we’ll soon have to break out the ice skates to get to work. Eventually, there might be a time that the roads get too bad for us to make it out to see our favorite local bands play around town, but fear not! We have something called “technology” which will allow us to listen to our favorite local acts at home! Amazing, I know.
The holiday months were busy for the local scene, with a number of bands releasing new albums and EPs. Both bands old and new, more experienced and younger, were busy releasing their newest tracks to their audiences. One of the artists on the newer side, whom I’ve been following for the past couple months, is the band Alivera. With most members on the border of 20, and some of them fresh out of high school, Alivera is one of those bands bringing a refreshing sound to the local rock scene.
This post-hardcore outfit released their debut self-titled EP back in November and is preparing to begin touring around the area in February. With this EP, Alivera brings forth a sound that is a bit more mature than their previous demos, toning down the hardcore edge and bringing forth stronger melodies and harmonies.
Alivera’s new EP is a quick four tracks long, and opens with the track “Aurora’s Winds”. A fade-in guitar leads right into a full force, pop-ish post-hardcore sound, with chord-heavy guitars and echo-effects vocals. The track begins loosening up as it moves on, giving hints at vocalist Chris McGrath’s range as guitarists Tyler Smith and Trevor Johnson begin trading out chords for a more melodic focus. Overall, this track provides samples of the band’s various ranges and strengths, which are further highlighted in later tracks.
The following track, “The Civic Pt. II”, fades in the drums this time around, before leading into a opening that feels similar to the track beforehand. McGrath uses his vocal shifts a bit more in this track, while drummer Aaron Queener becomes a bit more highlighted, pushing forth the various minor style shifts in the track.
The band picks up to something a bit stronger in the next track, “Predecessors”. Guitar gains a stronger focus at the beginning of this track, providing melody right off the bad rather than starting with chords. The vocalist pushes his range higher in this track, and gains a bit of an angry edge at some points. This also marks the first time that the “hardcore” part of the band is really brought out, with a slight breakdown and some screamed vocals during the bridge.
The EP ends with what is, in my opinion, the strongest track: “Planetary Aspect”. This track is the strongest out of the gate, with emotional vocals at the outset, moving right into a strong drum-and-guitar lead to the chorus. The chorus is where McGrath breaks out the top of his range: a high-reaching voice that doesn’t sound forced. Smith, Johnson, and Queener all come together during the verses to provide their best instrumentals on the EP, moving to a breakdown-style bridge and a strong drive to a satisfying ending.
I have met a number of individuals in the area that outright dismiss younger bands, claiming that they don’t have “experience” or something like that. I will never understand why some people hold opinions such as this. I believe that it is the younger bands that are bringing the freshest sounds to the scene, whether with Alivera to the rock scene, or various other acts to the others. Keep an eye on the younger up-and-comers, as they are the ones that are taking the Dayton scene to new heights.